Therapy is a collaborative process. I use many different approaches in working with clients, but I have several overarching goals for everyone who comes to see me:
working together to gain awareness and insight into the true cause(s) of your difficulties
sharing my expertise with you and training you in techniques to develop new skills, as well as finding practical solutions to your problems
helping you build on and access your inherent wisdom and strengths so that you can be empowered to help yourself
Each therapeutic relationship is different. I always meet clients “where they are,” and this varies widely from person to person. I serve as a guide, shining a light in problem areas, highlighting the path, and teaching skills for successfully making it across the sometimes bumpy terrain of life. I cannot “fix” anyone and offer no magical “cures” to problems. Rather, I facilitate the development of the natural healing process inherent in every human being. Although I guide and facilitate, then, you must take responsibility for moving forward in your own healing, actively working both within and outside of session on the issues that bring you to therapy.
In therapy with me, the specific ways of working towards awareness, empowerment, and balance will vary from client to client and at different points in therapy with the same client. Sometimes, support may be needed. Other times, the development of insight may be the main focus. Still other times, skill building may be emphasized most. Or these may all be combined in various ways at the same time. It all depends on you, your needs, and where you are when you seek services, as well as where you are as you shift and change over time.
Another important aspect of therapy is consideration of you as a whole person—mind, body, and spirit. All of these realms interact to produce your strengths, your struggles, and your typical ways of coping. Psychological difficulties do not occur in isolation, so therapy with me includes explorations of how you are taking care of your body and the human need to make meaning of life and experiences.
Mindfulness practice aids us in living life more fully by helping us learn to be more present with all of the ups and downs that come our way. So often, when something negative arises, we want to push it away, which takes us out of the moment. Learning to stay, even with what is difficult or painful, opens up new territory. When we are present, we feel alive. In meditation, we learn to accept and welcome a wide variety of experiences. We practice "on the cushion" to help train our bodies and minds to stay present no matter what, so that we can use these skills in daily life. As we learn to sit with whatever arises, both on and off the cushion, we begin to experience more acceptance (of self and of life), peace, and even joy. This leads to a sense of wholeness and an ability to discern, when we feel imbalanced, where attention is needed to restore our equilibrium.
Meditation mentoring includes working with meditation techniques a student already uses and learning new techniques that may be relevant to a student's practice or deepening current techniques. Sometimes we may do guided meditations or work in a meditative way with specific issues in the body or mind that are coming up in life and creating "stuckness." At other times, we may consider how to bring more mindfulness into daily life. Or, we may process things a student has experienced in meditation or questions that come up from readings. The focus is on increasing depth of practice and releasing energy or tension that may be creating imbalances.
I have maintained a daily meditation practice for over 25 years, so I have a deep appreciation for the benefits that come from meditating on a regular basis. I love sharing meditation with others and seeing them come alive in new ways as they develop meditation skills and apply those skills to their lives.